Howe outstanding

Sheffield Wednesday 1 Kovacevic 50 Nottingham Forest 3 Howe 10 , McGregor 46, Roy 80 Attendance: 21,930
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The Independent Online
KEY absentees yesterday undermined Nottingham Forest's preparation for this week's European adventure, but this worked to their advantage when stand-ins Stephen Howe and Paul McGregor seized their opportunity with a goal each at Hillsborough, where Bryan Roy added a late third.

Wednesday, in trouble after losing five of their last six Premiership matches, had to make drastic readjustments when a hip injury prevented goalkeeper Chris Woods from starting the second half, along with midfield player Graham Hyde.

Steve Nicol, the former Liverpool stalwart, took over from Woods and let in a goal before he had touched the ball. Certainly, he could not be blamed for the result, achieved on merit by Forest, who shook off some dismal form to record their first away victory since October after five straight defeats. As they prepare for Tuesday's Uefa Cup quarter final first leg away to Bayern Munich, their timing could not have been better.

Deprived by sickness and injury of Steve Stone, Andrea Silenzi and Ian Woan, in addition to the defenders Colin Cooper and Stuart Pearce, Forest did not look best equipped to bring about such a reversal of fortunes, but then Hillsborough has been a happy hunting ground for them. Although not on a par with last year's record 7-1 victory, the best by any away team in the Premiership, this was the sixth win in the last eight visits.

It was a happy place for Howe, 22, and his year younger colleague, McGregor, both of whom made their mark with eye- catching goals, the former volleying in from 20 yards from Kevin Campbell's tee-up before McGregor opened the second half with an overhead kick.

With Chris Waddle and Mark Pembridge on, Wednesday looked sparkier, and a cross from Waddle brought them back into contention only four minutes after McGregor's strike, providing Darko Kovacevic with a simple tap-in.

But Forest had more to come. Chris Allen, on loan from Oxford, replaced McGregor, and it was his cross from which Roy volleyed the third from close range.

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